The curriculum of the GIGA Doctoral Programme comprises high-quality courses taught by in-house specialists as well as experts from around the world. It consists of methodological and theoretical seminars and workshops, lectures, master classes, and soft-skills training. In addition, there is a monthly colloquium that allows students to discuss their projects with peers and senior colleagues. All courses fulfil ECTS standards in accordance with the degree regulations of our partner universities.

The winter term programme consists of two core training modules. The first module provides students from different disciplines and backgrounds with the theoretical and methodological tools necessary to conduct research in the fields of area and comparative area studies. This so-called Global Approach to CAS series pays particular attention to combining regional expertise and theoretical knowledge and continues throughout the year. The second module focuses on research design and methods by introducing both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. Seminars focus on how to formulate a compelling research design and how to obtain and analyse original data.

The summer term programme serves to deepen students' knowledge of how to conduct social science research in general and global and area studies research in particular. It focuses on qualitative and quantitative data analysis and provides in-depth insights and advice on how research is conducted within the GIGA’s research programmes and regions. These two modules help students refine their theoretical and methodological frameworks and develop plans for field research. The courses offered are demand-driven in order to meet the particular needs of the doctoral students. For example, they encompass small-N analysis (including process tracing), large-N analysis/regression, medium-N analysis, and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) as well as training on conducting interviews, survey research, and field work.

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